Here in Rural central Illinois, about 80% of those of us who have a well for our water have been hauling water since....well, last November. We get (HAUL) our water either from our town water shed (4 miles from our farm). 8 quarters gives us 210 gallons. If that place is busy we drive to the town right next to us (4 miles) and haul our water from there.
Last week the town right next to ours put a lock on their door (you have to go inside to turn on the water) with a note saying "Closed until further notice." Tonight we ran out of water so hubby makes a trip to our own community water shed and it too is now closed "until further notice."
Mind you, we've been Chicago surbubanites all our lives except for the last 12 years, so of course I was panicked when I called our minister to see if he knew of any other towns whose water sheds might still be open to the public and to ask why these were being shut down in the middle of a drought.
He said this was normal in a drought because they need to make sure they don't run out of water for their communities who get their water the normal way without having to haul it. Plus in the town next to ours, they said the chlorine was costing them a fortune....so they shut off access to those who don't receive water via pipes. And let me tell you...I've been in line behind people with 3000 gallon tanks on their own trailers filling up, so I can just imagine how much water their sheds have been giving up.
It's minimum $10K to drill a new well and you have to fill in the old one. Well when we bought this place, it already had two, old, dry wells on it that weren't filled in. So if we even had the $10K, which we don't - we live check to check - I hear it's expensive to have the old wells filled in as well. And per the EPA, you can no longer just have them drill your current well deeper. You have to drill a whole new well.
Tomorrow we search surrounding towns to see if any are still letting well people buy and haul their water. We're talking a 30 minute to 1 hour drive just to get there if they do. Then you drive much slower with your tank full of water on the way home. Then wait while you drain it into your well, then make the trip all over again. To haul two 210 gallon loads from our town (4 miles away) it took 1.5 hours...and that was if we weren't waiting in line behind 3-5 people with huge tanks to fill. And if only a couple of towns are still allowing people to haul their water away, guaranteed, with all the other towns shut down, and EVERYBODY going to these last remaining towns, it will just be a matter of time until they do what these two towns did and shut off public access. Then we're screwed!
I envision a lot of country folks just walking away and abandoning their country homes. PLEASE PRAY that God brings this drought to a quick end. And they're right....the next war won't be over oil....it'll be over water!